Child Life Internship

Children's Hospital Los Angeles offers a 15-week (600-hour) child life internship for credit at the undergraduate/graduate level and for independent students that are no longer affiliated with a university. The internship is for students with backgrounds in child development, child life and other related fields.

  • Child Life interns are scheduled 40 hours per week for 15 weeks, totaling in 600 hours of experience.
  • Internships consist of three rotations which include one seven-week inpatient rotation and two four-week rotations.
  • Examples of areas for rotation: medical/surgical unit, infectious disease unit, hematology/oncology, inpatient rehabilitation, surgical center, intensive care units, emergency department, cardiology, and outpatient infusion clinic
  • Supervision is provided by Certified Child Life Specialists meeting the CLC standards for internship supervisors.

To learn more about the child life profession and appropriate areas of study, please refer to the Child Life Council website at

  • Learning Opportunities and Expectations
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • How To Apply
  • Considerations When Applying
  • Internship Program Deadlines/Dates 2016
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Testimonials
  • Develop skills outlined in Child Life Council Competencies in preparation for an entry level child life position
  • Participate in daily clinical work with patients and families
  • Plan and implement therapeutic interventions
  • Facilitate playroom sessions
  • Collaborate with the multidisciplinary team
  • Document in the medical record
  • Supervise volunteers
  • Review current literature relevant to child life
  • Daily reflective journal assignments
  • Completion of assignments
  • Participate in self-reflection
  • Explore developmental theories and link theoretical frameworks to child life interventions
  • Identify coping strategies to support children, youth and families in the health care setting
  • Increase knowledge of recommended practices for children, youth and families from diverse backgrounds

Please note that our eligibility requirements have recently changed. Our updated requirements are indicated below.    

  • Completed coursework in Child Life, Child Development or related fields with a minimum of 10 related courses verified by the Child Life Council in the Eligibility Assessment.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in Child Life, Child Development or other related courses. (GPA is calculated based on the CLC Eligibility Assessment coursework review submitted with your application.)
  • Experience with children and families in non-health care settings (i.e. daycare, school environment, children’s camp)
  • Minimum of 120 hour practicum experience in a child life program under the supervision of a Child Life specialist

Mail the following completed documents to:

Rosa Carrillo-Licea, MS, CCLS or Cristina Chandri MS, CCLS
4650 Sunset Blvd., #28
Los Angeles, CA 90027  

  • Completed Common Child Life Internship Application from Child Life Council
  • One current (within the past year) sealed letter of recommendation from a Child Life Specialist supervising your clinical experience in a child life program
  • One current sealed letter of recommendation from professional of your choice
  • Written confirmation of completed pre-requirement of at least 120 hours practicum experience in a Child Life Program
  • Official transcripts
  • Current resume
  • Copy of Eligibility Assessment from Child Life Council.
  • Due to the limited availability of supervisors, we are only able to accommodate one to two interns each session.
  • A completed application does not guarantee an interview or internship offer.
  • If selected for an interview, phone interviews are available for applicants outside of the Southern California area.
  • If accepted to the internship program, professional liability insurance is required and will be the responsibility of the student and/or affiliated university.
  • If accepted to the internship program and currently affiliated with a university, you and your university must agree to all terms of CHLA's student agreement (non-university affiliated interns must agree to CHLA's student agreement independently).
  • Stipends are not provided.
  • Housing during internship is the responsibility of the intern.

Summer (May-August)

  • Deadline: Postmarked by Jan. 5
  • Offer date: February 9
  • Acceptance date: February 10

Fall (September-December)

  • Deadline: Postmarked by March 15
  • Offer date: May 3
  • Acceptance date: May 4

Winter/Spring (January-April)

  • Deadline: Postmarked by Sept. 5
  • Offer date: October 13
  • Acceptance date: October 14

Are the start/end dates flexible?

The start and end dates will be agreed upon by the prospective intern and the Internship Coordinator. The start dates fall in the first week of the months of January, May and September. Students who are currently enrolled at a university that operates based on the quarter system are encouraged to apply for the summer semester.

How many students do you accept at a time?

The number of students accepted will vary from session to session, depending on the number of applicants and supervisor availability.

Do interns get to select their rotations?

Interns are welcome to communicate any special interests they may have in a particular area, but the rotations are determined by the Internship Coordinator based on supervisor availability and the learning needs of the intern.  

"The people, patients and families, and overall caring atmosphere at CHLA are incomparable. The [Child Life] specialists are truly wonderful people who have great experiences and insight to share. Being an intern at CHLA allows for you to grow…while making relationships and helping the lives of children and families in their most needed times. I cannot imagine completing my internship anywhere else."

"I could not be more pleased with the experiences that I gained during my internship! The internship program provided me with all the tools I needed to start my career as a Child Life specialist and I have gained invaluable knowledge and confidence. Being a Child Life Intern and interacting with such a diverse population pushed me to stretch my limits and go beyond my comfort level. My overall experience has definitely helped me move one step closer to being a new Child Life specialist and growing professionally and personally."

"My experience at Children's Hospital Los Angeles could not have prepared me better to become a Child Life specialist! I was offered many unique opportunities that challenged me to learn and grow in my practice. I would highly recommend that anyone apply for an internship at Children's Hospital Los Angeles if you are ready to be challenged and to work hard with a great team!"